Since our family is spending a lot of time not traveling and spending more time indoors, we are getting more of our travel fix by watching travel shows. It seems like there are a lot more travel related shows on Amazon Prime than there are on Netflix. Here’s a list of our favorites, and why you should watch them too.
Note: As of publishing (updated Jan 2021), these shows are still available with an Amazon Prime membership. However, things quickly change when it comes to streaming services. Sometimes shows get dropped and new ones get added. We’ll try to update this post whenever possible.
First aired in the early 2000s in Nat Geo Adventure, Word Travels follows Robin Esrock and Julia Dimon as they go from country to country, looking for an angle for their stories in the hopes of getting them (selling them) in publications that they write and pitch for.
Julia has a weekly travel column in a Canadian newspaper, while Robin was a freelance travel writer. It shows how raw the world of travel writing is, and how real it is. They struggle to find angles that have not been covered yet, while also making it engaging so publications can buy their stories.
While some of their trips in the show are press trips, most of the time, you’ll see Julia and Robin paying for their trips and saving money by staying in hostels. The show also shows how you would spend hours just trying to chase marketing people and story leads and end up with no story at all.
Really interesting and quite different from other travel shows out there. Each episode is around 25 minutes long, so good for a quick watch.
Originally called Lonely Planet, this TV series was originally aired in the 1990s! It was in fact a part of me growing up as I awaited every single episode – it is a means to travel the world without any money (as I was when I was 7).
Bradley Cooper hosted a few shows, but my favorite hosts were Ian Wright and Justine Shapiro. Ian Wright went on to host a few more shows on the Discovery Channel. These hosts provided information about every destination, and their love of traveling is very contagious.
Every episode is between 45 minutes to an hour long and feature multiple cities and/or themes per episode.
Rick Steves Europe
Rick Steves is known as a subject matter expert in Europe, which stemmed from his vacations to the continent, his PBS shows, and his guidebooks. While you can stream full episodes of his show on free TV and YouTube, Prime also has a few seasons available for free.
I love the cities that he visits, mainly because I do love Europe as well. Every episode is 20-30 minutes long, which also makes it a quick show to binge watch.
The Curious Traveler
This is an Indie show that I’ve only managed to see on Amazon Prime. The host gives facts about a specific city and connects the history and the sites that she visits. It’s not at all dry and I find that I learn something new whenever I watch an episode.
Every episode is around 25-30 minutes long, and only features a city (or more cities, but within the same country). The host does not really travel to really exotic destinations, but it is a good show nonetheless. Currently only has 3 seasons available on Prime.
The Amazing Race
Want adrenaline mixed with adventure and travel? Enter the Amazing Race. This show has been going on for 30+ seasons, and is also available on CBS.
Honestly, watching this TV series makes me stressed. The contestants bicker a lot, are consistently on the go, and have to do challenges along the way. Add that to constantly traveling by train, plane, boat, and car, and have to race to not be the last!
Every episode is close to an hour, with specials running up to 90 minutes. Each season has new sets of teams, new dynamics, and new destinations.
My husband and I have actually talked about trying to get on to the show, so you’ll never know if you finally do see us on the show!
James May: Our Man in Japan
Japan – a bucket list country for most people. It’s so different and traditional, modern yet steeped in history. From one of the original presenters of Top Gear, James May travels throughout Japan and shows us, the viewers, what’s cool about the place and his quirky thoughts.
Every episode is around an hour long, with new cities covered per episode. There’s only one season available, but it’s filmed in 4K and the detail is beautiful!
Our favorite travel show (after Departures), the host Richard Ayoade takes a guest for a 48 hour romp around various cities across the globe. He has some A-listers on his show like Paul Rudd, Jon Hamm, and even his old IT Crowd colleagues.
Note that not all the seasons are available on Prime, but you can still binge watch all 3 seasons that are available as of this blog’s publish date. Every episode is around 30 minutes long, so not a lot of time investment required.
Did we mention that Ayoade is so funny as a host? He is such an unexpected traveler – he does not like trying new foods, does not like really cold weather, and does not like doing crazy, adventurous things. These all add to the quirkiness of the show.
Suggestions and Recommendations
If you have any other suggestions or recommendations for travel shows to watch on Amazon Prime, feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and we’re always open to watching new travel and history related shows!
Alternatively you can contact us as well for your suggestions and comments!